Kurdistan Region President, PM discuss budget issues with US ambassador

The Kurdistan Region’s President Nechirvan Barzani and Prime Minister Masrour Barzani on Monday met separately with US Ambassador to Iraq Alina Romanowski, discussing the ongoing budget issues between Erbil and Baghdad while stressing the need to ensure the Region’s financial rights.

Delegations of the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) and the Iraqi federal government have held talks in recent months, aimed at resolving the lingering issues relating to the Region’s share in the federal budget.

Last week, Baghdad said it would send Erbil 500 billion Iraqi dinars (close to $382 million) as part of a "loan agreement” to cover the salaries of Erbil’s public servants. The KRG has said that the amount provided by Baghdad is not enough to meet the needs of the Region.

Both President Barzani and Romanowski agreed that Erbil and Baghdad must engage in constructive dialogue to reach an understanding towards resolving their disputes "in a way that ensures the constitutional rights of all sides, and maintains peace and political stability in the country,” according to a statement from the presidency.

President Barzani stressed that the current disputes between Erbil and Baghdad do not serve the interests of the country, pointing out the Kurdistan Region "must be treated as a federal region” in accordance with Iraq’s federal system.

"The Kurdistan Region's budget share must be paid in full and Kurdistani rights must not be violated,” a statement from PM Barzani’s office cited the Kurdish premier as saying during the meeting with the US diplomat.

PM Barzani stressed that the KRG has complied with all its obligations as set forth in the federal budget, saying that it is necessary Baghdad provides the salaries of the Region’s public servants the same way it does for the other Iraqi provinces.

The two agreed on the significance of holding constructive dialogue to resolve the differences.

The KRG has failed to pay its civil servants on time and in full for several years due to the financial crisis. Public sector employees have not been paid for the months of July and August following several failed deals with Baghdad.

Iraq passed its highly-contentious budget bill for the years 2023, 2024, and 2025 in June, which includes a record $152 billion in spending, of which the Kurdistan Region’s share is 12.6.


source\ rudaw


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